A Thing Called Love - Jill Sanders
Conner stood back and watched his cousin Suzie walk down the flower-lined aisle. Out of all of his family members who had gotten married, somehow seeing Suzie as a bride hit him the hardest.
Even when Riley, his little sister, had gotten married two years back, it hadn’t affected him this much. Sure, he’d been proud. After all, he liked Carter Miller, the man who had married her. Who wouldn’t? The guy was great.
But the fact that Suzie was marrying Aiden Brogan, one of Conner’s best friends since… well, birth, made him even prouder. Maybe that’s why this wedding hit him so hard? That his little cousin could find love with someone she’d known her entire life made him wonder if he’d missed out himself. Could he have overlooked the one? Was he missing out on his chance?
After all, this was his fourth cousin to marry in the past four years. They were dropping like flies. Or so everyone at the wedding was saying.
Of course, that left big targets on the remaining Jordan cousins. There were only three Jordan men left unmarried—Conner’s little brother Jacob, their cousin George, and himself. The three of them were the last of the available bachelors in the Jordan clan.
Whatever the reason for his new feelings, he was slowly realizing that he was tired of not knowing the direction he was going. He’d struggled with it his entire life, really.
Sure, he’d attended school and had actually been good at it without even really trying. He’d flown through two years of college, then had returned to Pride when he’d grown bored of classes. Since then, he’d been doing odd jobs. Sometimes he worked for his cousin Sara’s husband Parker, helping him at his construction company. Other times, he helped out at the family’s restaurant, the Golden Oar. Hell, one time he’d even modeled for one of his mother’s paintings. Not that anyone could tell, since she’d positioned him far off in the distance in one of her oil paintings of the beach.
Still, he’d found plenty to keep him from getting bored. Then, over a year ago, he had started training as a reservist at the Coast Guard facility just outside of town. How he’d let Allen Masters talk him into it was a mystery. He’d run into the guy at the Golden Oar one evening. The man was eating dinner with his family and had started up a conversation.
The following day, he’d showed up at Conner’s door bright and early. He’d officially signed up to join and had undergone the rigorous application process.
He wasn’t even quite sure that’s what he wanted out of life. Still, he’d allowed Allen to drag him down to the facility each day and, well, that had been thirteen months ago. Passing the eight-week boot camp had been easy enough. Conner thrived on the challenging physical training. Maybe that’s why he’d stuck it out. If only he could get behind it as much as his family members got behind their careers.
Being dedicated to something bigger was what Conner really wanted at this point.
Watching Suzie and Aiden dance under the spotlight and look at one another with such… admiration, he realized for the first time in his life that he was lonely.
Pride, Oregon, being the small town that it was, didn’t have a revolving door of women to date like he’d had at college. Since his return, he’d found plenty of friends to hang out with and even an ex or two to play with. But nothing that had given him the opportunity to move beyond a few nights of fun. If that’s really what he was looking for.
Kara Jenkins had pulled off another perfect wedding. Watching all of the guests stroll slowly out of the massive barn she and her older sister, Robin, had turned into their venue, Sunset Weddings, she took a deep breath of the fall Oregon air and smiled.
“We did it again,” Robin said, coming up beside her.
“Yes.” She tried not to squeal with excitement. “We did.” She always felt pumped after such an event. She knew she should be tired after spending more than twenty hours on her feet, but somehow, she was raring to go still.
“I’m going to make sure the cleaning crew gets started,” Robin said and, after running her hand down Kara’s arm, she turned away.
“I’ll…” She turned to go help, but Robin glanced back at her.
“No, you’ve done enough for today. You started three hours earlier than I did. Go, relax.” She motioned to the